Business alignment is a need most people are aware of, but may not know how to do. It seems obvious that business alignment makes a business more efficient and agile, but without effective techniques, business alignment can be a difficult task. Here are five strategies for businesses to maintain alignment with their resources, capabilities, and strategies.
Communication across all lines of business can be hard to do, but an effective way to align efforts. Leaders should foster a culture of open communication across business units and within each unit’s organizational structure. It can be easy to fall into the trap of communicating only with a few people and business areas. Leaders should encourage open communication at every opportunity.
Business resources range from the employees, business processes, and physical items that are key to business operations. For employees, be sure to have a good employee recognition and retention program that encourages a culture of collaboration and teamwork. Have regular process management meetings that define business processes and look for areas to improve. Encourage a culture of continuous process improvement and always be open to changing processes when better ones become evident. Be willing to look at the physical items that are needed and consider alternative sources that can reduce capital costs.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that business planning is just for the leaders. Hold bottom-up planning meetings that involve all employees in the process. Many good ideas get overlooked because they did not come from a manager. A benefit of involving all employees in planning is that everyone will be invested in the success of the business. Also, make planning a continuous effort by scheduling planning meetings throughout the year.
Goals and Objectives
Make sure business goals and objectives are clearly communicated to everyone as often as possible. Make posters outlining business goals so that they are on everyone’s mind as they go throughout their day. This will help align people in the same direction and increase business productivity.
Communicate sales goals and techniques to all employees. Showing how all departments contribute to the sales of the business will further align the business toward common goals. Every employee is a representative of the business and has an impact on sales either directly or indirectly.
Business alignment is an effort that is worth time and money to get right. A more aligned business will increase the bottom line and improve customer and employee satisfaction. As a leader, make business alignment a regular activity. It will make a business stronger and more efficient.